fbpx

International short film festival from Poznań, Poland.

2020 — roundup by Short Waves Festival Team

Emilia Mazik / Festival Director

BEST SHORT

This has been another extremely interesting year for short cinema. Per usual, I am unable to pick one title, so I am gonna go with a top 3:

  • Sun Dog, dir. Dorian Jespers, Belgium 2020. Since the moment I saw this film right after its win at the Rotterdam festival, I was convinced we must present it in Poznań at Short Waves Festival. Luckily, we managed to do it, and we even brought its director to Poznań, in addition to that the film got the European Film Award nomination.
  • Dustin, dir. Naïla Guiguet, France 2020. I am still in awe of this title: Dustin is not only a captivating portrait of a trans heroine, but also the best techno party scene I’ve seen in a long time!
  • Dune, dir. Gábor Ulrich, Hungary 2020. A seemingly simple animation caught me in a trance – primarily due to its hypnotic nature and a perfect soundscape.

BEST FESTIVAL MOMENT

This year’s Short Waves Festival has been a one big experiment (hybrid form, new dates), yet I think we were very lucky that the festival was able to take place in the presence of guests and the audience. Favorite moment? I think for me it was the Opening Screening organized in collaboration with the Sensitive Images series at CK Zamek. When I saw a hall full of audience members, I thought “wow, this is really happening!”. Our Random Garden Cinema definitely comes second place with all its uniqueness and fantastic atmosphere.

MOST IMPORTANT EVENT OF THE YEAR

Once again, so much has happened I am unable to pick a single favorite. In the online festival category Vienna Shorts is a definite win to me – a superb festival that perfectly demonstrated the possibilities that come with the Filmchief Hub platform. Aside from the fantastic film selection, it is important to mention their interesting industry program. In terms of offline events, Cyprus International Short Film Festival is an unquestionable favorite as I had the pleasure to be among the jury members, in the middle of October, between the two pandemic waves. The festival’s amazing hospitality, good films and sea baths were exactly what I needed in this strange year of 2020. When it comes to the online/offline category, I would like to honor the birth of Talking Shorts – the first platform focusing on short film critique!

Szymon Stemplewski / Concept designer, programmer

BEST SHORT

Kelly Lee Owens „Corner of My Sky” [ft. John Cale] dir. Kasper Häggström, 2020
Simple, yet enjoyable. Musically – the track comes from “Inner Song” by Kelly Lee Owens, album of the year if you ask me.

BEST FESTIVAL MOMENT

hotel—europa extra: life in loops
I am unable to verbalize this experience, yet I would love to repeat it more than once…

MOST IMPORTANT EVENT OF THE YEAR

Short Waves Online
I was excited about the return of the signature convention of the Short Waves Grand Prix Tour. A set of Polish, short, audiovisual productions, very diverse and oblique. On top of that a reference to a collaboration with FINA that complemented the project as a whole.

Aleksandra Ławska / Program Coordinator, programmer

BEST SHORT

I find it hard to pick one this year, yet if a film may be read in a thousand different ways, it holds a special place in my heart. Each one is intriguing in its own way. A film trio that is going to stay with me for a longer time:

  • This Means More, dir. Nicolas Gourault,
  • Sun Dog, dir. Dorian Jespers,
  • World, dir. Christine Haroutounian

BEST FESTIVAL MOMENT

I think it was a night at Random Garden Cinema at Short Waves Festival, when I somehow realized that our festival is also taking place physically and that it was the best thing that’s happened to me this year.

MOST IMPORTANT EVENT OF THE YEAR

Without a doubt – SWF, despite many difficulties, the most lively and most beautiful image of 2020.
Also the festival held in Clermont-Ferrand that managed to take place offline before the pandemic struck. For me, it was the first meeting with this legendary festival and film market, where I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful figures of the short cinema festival world. It all seemed like a parallel universe, but it really did happen in 2020!
It’s hard to qualify it as an online event, but the “How to create culture online” initiative deserves an honorable mention – a nicely done and useful educational series that are very multidimensional in the context of culture.

Ania Golon / Festival Office Coordinator, Awesome Shorts

BEST SHORT

Among all shorts and music videos (let’s not forget they are short films too!) I’ve seen in 2020, Christine and The Queens — La Vita Nuova, dir. Colin Solal Cardo is my absolute top if not number one, it lasts a short 13’48” BUT IT’S WORTH IT. (visually and sonically)

BEST FESTIVAL MOMENT

It’s hard to pick because I find it amazing that the festival took place in an OFFLINE form, yet if I were to choose a few it would be: fantastic Random Garden Cinema, all of the office mornings and breakfasts, and my absolute highlight and in a way a success I was able to contribute to – the grand festival walk from Brzeg Wschodni to Dom Technika (anyone who knows Poznań’s topography knows it’s a pretty long distance and the mere fact of getting even 1/3 of the intrepid hikers was a great success and lots of fun xD).

MOST IMPORTANT EVENT OF THE YEAR

Short Waves Festival for sure because we’ve been freaking out about it since March, worrying if it would take place at all and since I’ve been with the festival for the past 5 years, its something unimaginable. So, FUCK YEAH! We’ve done it and we’ve done it well! *NH i AFF — online mode was also great : )

Dawid Skórzybut / Festival office

BEST SHORT

This year, my cinematic mind was taken over by an ever stronger admiration of symmetry, lively colors and desire to detach from reality. That is exactly what a dance film called Cinderella Games offers – escapism towards retelling of Cinderella’s story. Such an image, colorful and pleasing to the eye, in combination with music from Prokofiev’s ballet is extremely relaxing to the mind.

BEST FESTIVAL MOMENT

Entering the festival office for the first time during the August edition of Short Waves Festival… that’s when it hit me that for the first time in my life I am going to be a part of a film festival not as an attendee, but as one of the organizers! What more could a cinephile dream of?

MOST IMPORTANT EVENT OF THE YEAR

interFACE, namely a project created by the attendees of the Foundation’s workshop called Cinematic City: Gamer’s World. It was particularly important to me because I love to be involved in educational initiatives and to provide passionate people with opportunities for development and it was me who had the pleasure to supervise the attendees – the people who created the most original mini-film festival of 2020!

Michał Tomaszewski / Distribution Coordinator, film translation

BEST SHORT

  • The Deepest Hole, 2020, USA, dir. Matt McCormick, 12’

There is something perverse in a statement that my favorite film of 2020 was a documentary about Kola Superdeep Borehole, a science project that has allegedly led to reaching Hell in the process. This partially animated film, using off-screen narration and pieces of recordings, brings us closer to an event that rode on the wave of “Satanic Panic” of the 90s. In terms of tone, the film may be compared to “Little Lower Than the Angels” that this year’s SWF edition’s attendees may be familiar with. I suggest anyone who is intrigued and doesn’t know this story should hold off with the Internet search as you will have the opportunity to see it very soon.

  • Mizuko, 2019, USA, dir. Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo, 15’

A very personal animated documentary on the subject that is painfully current. Experiences of a Japanese woman living in the US are intertwined with memories of motherland and allow the viewer to understand a spiritual, Buddhist ritual that comes with a severe loss. The film is extremely touching, enhanced by a great music selection consisting of calm electronic music. Visually, it reminds me of European Film Award winner from 2018 – “The Years”.

  • T, 2019, USA, dir. Keisha Rae Witherspoon, 14’

A puzzle of a film. I am not sure what it is myself (a narrative? documentary? experimental?). We come to know the eponymous T ball – a ball celebrating the dead as well as its attendees. Beginning from the ordinary: conversations between family members, we start heading towards increasingly more bizarre waters – both on screen and in the dialogues. I think that the film website perfectly demonstrates its character: [LINK] (yes, that is the actual website).

BEST FESTIVAL MOMENT

The first of Random Garden Cinema screenings: Never Stop Trying

An exceptional program with an exceptional film in an exceptional place opening old/new series of the festival.

MOST IMPORTANT EVENT OF THE YEAR

Mailchimp Presents: Support the Shorts

Shortly before cancellation of SWF’s March edition (brrr, shivers, not from the cold), on another continent, another big event was cancelled due to the pandemic – SXSW in Texas. For that reason, in April, two well known American companies, Mailchimp (the more popular one) and Oscilloscope Laboratories (the less popular distribution company similar to the Polish Gutek Film + Velvet Spoon merger) decided to support short film creators and provide them with a platform for film creation. Within 3 weeks, they managed to fill a website with the majority of planned competition program films. Free to watch, no geo-blocks. It was one of the first online festival events. The page is still running and some of the films are still available: [LINK].